Racism in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

The novel portrays the hunt for personality and self-realization (Sten), the struggles that are related to race, those of African Americans as Sundquist claims, the self-transformation starting from lack of knowledge to knowledge (Ellison) the worth contained in one’s history and cultural legacy (O’Meally). (Anelli et al.2012) Similarly, in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, we find a case of an African American story dealing with racism against African Americans in the USA. The protagonist, in this case – the speaker, stays anonymous throughout the narrative which allows him to present his life familiarities with a relative lack of involvement while also offering the reader a hint into his opinion on the actions that take place all through the narrative. Analysis The narrator is an adolescent African-American male from the excluded Deep South. He recalls about his youthful days when he had not yet known his identity or realized that he was an invisible man (Ellison, page 402) that he was an invisible man a black man whose individuality is unnoticed and complex to understand in the American society. The invisible man develops ethical, mental, and academic consciousness through a chain of encounters that test his suppositions about the humankind while at the same time he learns painful lessons (Anelli et al.2012). The action intensifies when, on his death bed, the narrator’s grandfather tells the family that the life of blacks who live in a far-off white America had been and was still full of battles and hostility. The narrator is in dilemma having considered his grandfather the most humble as it turns out he was a spy (Ellison, page 403). The strategies of agree on ’em to death as well as undermine ’em with grins (Ellison, page 413) are the instruments that allow the Negro to live on, in concentration approving invisibility until sightlessness slay white society. Therefore, Grandfather’s words create and prefigure cultural values, for instance, the racism and bias that the speaker will come across in a negative society as he finds his way through the communal mine grounds of America. Racism is blatant in the venue in which the narrator is invited to give a speech. When he arrives, he discovers that he is to provide part of the evening’s entertainment for a number of drunken white men as a competitor, together with nine of his classmates, in a blindfolded boxing match ahead of giving his speech. He attends the festival not knowing what stance he would take but later discovers that the comic action merely endeavors to highly oppress the blacks, lower their self-esteem, kindness and human rights in the complicated society. Everyone involved, including the audience, contributed to the racist ploy without exception. It comprised of an erotic dance by a nude light-colored female with a flag tattoo on her belly, which he and his classmates are forced to look at. After enduring these humiliating experiences, the narrator is finally permitted to give his speech.